Wednesday, April 29, 2009


From watching what had been a pretty physical Game 5 in Atlanta between the hometown Hawks and the visiting Miami Heat, the most intriguing facet of the game was not necessarily how should-be-but-won't-be-MVP Dwayne Wade tried to pull himself from back spasms, but how much the crowd reactions had or had not affected the game.

In the first half, Wade collided with Joe Johnson Josh Smith when going for a loose ball. With the Heat star writhing on the ground, the Hawks faithful took no issue with booing. Mike Fratello, the former coach and TNT color commentator, questioned the crowd’s motive behind letting their feelings be known at that instant.

On a fast break in the early part of the second quarter, a trailing Wade tried to block the ball from Atlanta’s Maurice Evans as he rose for a fast break dunk. With both players having fallen to the floor – Evans hitting his head on Wade’s right knee en route to the floor – the crowd lustily booed again. Fratello reiterated his apparent frustration with the crowd reaction, but in this instance, he mentioned that the fans may have believed that they could influence the officials into calling a flagrant foul on Wade (which they did moments later).

I mention these two scenarios because while the Hawks took their South Florida rivals to the woodshed nearly from the outset, it appeared that maybe, just maybe, the crowd set the tone for how the game would be played and officiated. Yet, I wonder what you all think. Have all the hollering, booing and thundersticking ever had an affect on the games you attended in person?

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